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Holiday boat parades not over yet in Pinellas
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Photo by JAY RICHMOND
Mariners embrace the holiday spirit for the Dunedin Lighted Boat Parade Dec. 1, along the Intracoastal Waterway, starting at the Dunedin Marina.
Last weekend was busy on Pinellas County waterways as a multitude of municipalities hosted their annual boat parades. If you missed them, don’t worry, there are two more chances to get out and see one of the unique features of holiday time in a coastal community.

The 26th annual Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Boat Parade, starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Holiday Inn Harbourside. Lineup begins at 6:45 p.m. about 200 yards south of the southern end of the Holiday Inn fuel dock. Sailboats should line up at the end.

The procession heads north from the Holiday Inn dock and continues north to pass under the Walsingham/S.R. 688 Bridge. The parade ends at the north end of City Limits off Harbor Drive North.

The Captains’ Awards Ceremony is Monday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m., on the deck at Jimmy Guana’s at the Holiday Inn Harbourside. For more information or to sign up to participate, call Randy Schwab, city of Indian Rocks Beach, at 595-6889, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to make sure that their boats’ navigational lights are working, and the boat meets all approved Coast Guard requirements, including a sufficient number of approved life vests, etc.

Redington Beach/Indian Shores annual lighted boat parade is Sunday, Dec. 23, 6 p.m. It sails from Tom Stuart Causeway and along the Intracoastal Waterway, meandering into the numerous canals that form the waterfronts in the participating towns to it final destination The Pub in Indian Shores.

The rendezvous/starting point will be on the north side of the Tom Stuart Causeway (Madeira Beach) Causeway. Boats will rendezvous at 5:30 p.m. with their lights off. The boats will light up in unison at 6 p.m., starting the parade.

After touring Redington Beach, North Redington Beach and Redington Shores, the parade will pass through the Park Boulevard drawbridge and proceed north along the ICW through Indian Shores to the finish point at The Pub Restaurant, 20025 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores.

The awards ceremony and party will follow the arrival of the last lighted boat. Pub owner, Steve Westphal, donates hot hors d’oeuvres for the boat crews and their guests.

The awards this year include cash prizes for first, second and third places. All participating boats will get a variety of prizes including products, gifts and gift certificates donated by local businesses. For more information, call Redington Shores Town Hall at 727-397-5538. There is no entry fee for participating in the parade.

A “Captains Meeting” is on Thursday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m., in the Community Room, at the rear of the North Redington Beach Town Hall. Boat captains can pick up their boat identification numbers at the meeting. Any boat captains unable to pick up their identification boards on Thursday will be able to get them during normal business hours on Friday, Dec. 21, at the Redington Shores Town Hall. Call 727-397-5538.
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